KEWANEE - Dale E. Bess, 71, Kewanee, died at 1:50 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 29, 2009) at Kewanee Hospital.
Cremation has been accorded and a memorial graveside service and inurnment will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Wethersfield Cemetery, Kewanee. The Rev. Dan Craig will officiate. Memorials may be directed to the Jack Mabley Developmental Center, 1120 Washington Ave., Dixon, IL 61021, in the name of his son, Charles Bess. Rux Funeral Home, Kewanee, is in charge of arrangements.
Dale was born Oct. 22, 1937, in Bloomington, the son of Walter and Dorothy Scharfenburg Bess. He married Sharon Swearingen on May 28, 1965, in Danvers. She survives, as do two sons, Charles "Chuck" Bess, Dixon, and James "Jim" Bess, Kewanee; a sister, Marjorie Yoder, Danvers; and a brother, Walter J. Bess Jr., Bloomington. He was preceded in death by his grandparents and parents.
He had worked various jobs for Illinois Power for 40 years, until his retirement in January 1996. He spent his early adult years around Bloomington, either owning or working in garages. He had raced cars and motorcycles and a hot rod club known as the Vagabons had been a part of his life since 1955.
Dale was a proud veteran of the Illinois National Guard. His passions were fishing and hunting. He was a longtime member of the NRA, IBEW Local 51 since early 1956, the Fort Defiance and Pistol Club and the Horseshoe Fishing Club. He loved his family and had a huge heart. He will be greatly missed.
A big thanks goes to Lamont Littlefield, Joe DeValkenaere and his many friends at Illinois Power for being such a part of Dale's life. The family appreciates the loving care from the staff at Kewanee Care, especially LeAnn and Fran. This obituary may be viewed and private condolences left at www.ruxfuneralhome. com.